Hen after Hatching

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by wbruder17, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. wbruder17

    wbruder17 Songster

    Jun 7, 2010
    Portland, OR
    I want my hen and chicks to have time with each other for a bit, since they just hatched. But Mama is a BIG girl and my brooding/ hatching hut is not that big. I worry about her accidently stomping a chick. My silkie did it with a quail chick she hatched. Just found it dead when a few hours ago it was fine. Pretty sure it was an accident oof an overzealous mama getting to stretch out after 3 weeks on the nest.

    How long do hens usuually stay with their chicks? And if I remove her, say now or in a week, and put her back in the general populatiion where she can't hear the chicks....will she just go back to living her merry liife or will it traumatize her to take her away from her chicks? They just hatched like, a day or two ago.
  2. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Songster

    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    I'd say the biggest stomping risk is in the first few days. If they make it through those, you'd be fine to leave the chicks with her. The bigger they are, the less stompable! I have a hen who hatched out three chicks ten weeks ago. Even now the chicks are pretty big, they still all hang out together and roost together and she looks out for them when the other hens are being bossy. Sometimes I see them all stretched out sunning themselves and one of the chicks will sneakily try to squeeze under her wing. It's really funny to see now the chicks are two thirds the size of their mother!

    As to how much fuss your hen would make if you took the chicks away, I guess it all depends on the individual. Some might forget quite quickly, others could get themselves worked up into a tizzy about it. When my hen's chicks were about three weeks old and they were out free ranging, I had a bunch of other chicks a week or so younger in a brooding shed. When mama heard the chicks cheeping inside the shed she got really excited and started rushing around gathering her chicks up and trying to figure out where the other chicks were. I think she thought she'd lost one, cause she kept herding hers up and checking them over. She really got quite worked up about it. I'd hate to think what she'd have been like if I'd taken all her chicks away from her...
  3. Cindlady

    Cindlady Songster

    Dec 12, 2010
    S.E. WI
    I had a broody that hatched 7 chicks, 1 had an accident and died at about 6 weeks. When the chicks were about 10 weeks old she rejoined the flock but chose to roost closest to where they were (next room) she still listens for trouble (at almost 16 week) and will run to them if they get too picked on. The broody that just hatched 5, 3 days ago would peck your eye out if you tried taking them! 2 of hers I think are bantams, so very small but she seems is very careful with them.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2011

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